The last vestiges of Durga Puja continue to sully the picturesque Ranchi Lake(below) and Jail Talab on Sunday, two days after immersions ended. Pictures by Hardeep Singh
After fervour, it is all filth and fret.
Water bodies across Ranchi are choking on Durga Puja paraphernalia — mud and straw skeletons of deities, their bamboo props, synthetic cloth, thermocol, wood, et al — with civic guardians dragging their feet on promised clean-up.
And add to this eyesore, heightened traffic snarls because organisers have conveniently forgotten to remove road-hog bamboo frameworks used for festive lighting.
The capital has 35-odd big and small water bodies. These include the sprawling and picturesque Ranchi Lake and ponds like Batan Talab, Chutia Talab, Line Tank Talab, Karamtoli Talab, Bhutaha Talab and Jora Talab, which saw immersions through Dashami (October 24) till Friday.
But, although 48 hours have gone by, the Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC), which owns and maintains all the water bodies, is yet to press a cleaning squad into service. Result: floating remains of idols, rising level of water pollution and an overpowering stench.
“The immersions continued well into Friday. And yesterday (Saturday) was Bakri Id. So, we had had to postpone our cleaning mission for a day. However, we will engage 20 workers and a tractor in each pond from tomorrow (Monday),” said chief executive officer of RMC Dipankar Panda.
He added that he had ordered completion of cleaning work by Wednesday. “Besides ponds and lakes, A2Z Waste Management Private Limited has been directed to clear garbage that piled up across the city during the festivities.”
Even if the civic body has pledged to breathe fresh life into the water bodies, it seems confused on how to end the chaos of scaffolding-cluttered roads. While most Durga Puja organisers have been prompt in dismantling their elaborate illumination arrangements, the bamboo mounts and welcome gates stand put causing traffic congestion.
“The first thing that should have been done after Durga Puja is taking down these road-hog structures. God knows what the organisers and civic officials are doing,” said an irritated commuter, trying to drive through a narrowed road near Ranchi University administrative building.
Krishna Yadav, president of Ranchi Mahanagar Durga Puja Samiti — the apex outfit of organisers, offered some hope. “Workers have started dismantling pandal scaffoldings. Puja officials have been asked to remove light mounts and gates too. The job will be done in a day or two,” he said.
What can be done to prevent recurring water pollution?